The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Saturday said it
had decided to appeal in the Supreme Court against the Ayodhya
verdict given by the Allahabad High Court last month, but
clarified it was not opposed to an out-of-court compromise -
though with certain conditions.
"We have no objection to considering any offer of compromise,
provided it fulfils our three pre-conditions. As such, the formula
must conform to the tenets of the 'Shariat' (Islamic law) and the
letter and spirit of the Indian Constitution. Besides, it must
also uphold the dignity of Muslims," AIMPLB assistant general
secretary and spokesman M.A. Rahim Quraishi said.
Quraishi was briefing media persons at the conclusion of a
day-long meeting of AIMPLB's 51-member executive at the Darul
Uloom-Nadwatul-Ulema, the renowned Islamic seminary, popularly
known as Nadwa, here.
Presided over by AIMPLB president Maulana Syed Rabe Hasan Nadwi,
who is also the rector of Nadwa, the meeting held that the Sep 30
verdict by a three-judge special bench of the high court was "full
of infirmities". The special bench had ordered division of the
disputed 90 by 120 ft plot of land in Ayodhya into three parts -
one going to the Sunni Central Waqf Board representing Muslims and
two to separate Hindu parties.
AIMPLB's legal cell convener Y.H. Muchhala, who was also present
at the press conference, denied that the board had any plans of
coming up with its own compromise formula.
"As far as we are concerned, we have taken a decision to make an
appeal to the Supreme Court of India. So where is the question of
our preparation of any formula? But we are open to considering
such a move by the other party," he said.
Denying that any compromise formula was ever mooted by former
AIMPLB president and renowned scholar, the late Ali Mian, Muchhala
also sought to dismiss the peace initiatives taken by 90-year-old
Hashim Ansari of Ayodhya, who had fought a legal battle for the
Babri Masjid since 1961, to pave way for an amicable settlement
without another protracted court battle.
"We also consider it to be the right and obligation of the Indian
Muslims to challenge the judgment in the apex court, in order to
remove the distortions introduced by the judgment in the basic
values of the Indian Constitution and the established norms of
jurisprudence," he said.
Quraishi contended that the court had "totally sacrificed on the
principles of secularism, enshrined in the Constitution, which
clearly says that the faith of one community cannot be given
precedence over that of another community."
Replying to a question, Quraishi said the board was not against
co-existence of a mosque and temple. "There are many places across
the country where mosques and temples have been existing side by
side for centuries. Some such places have come up even in the
recent years, but in case of Ayodhya, there was no evidence of the
existence of a temple, which the court had tried to establish
solely on the basis of belief of a particular set of people."
At this juncture, Muchhala said: "Please note that we hold Lord
Ram in very high esteem, even though we may not worship him, but
whether he was born at a particular spot or not must be decided as
per the law of the land and not on the basis of pre-determined
He parried queries relating to voices in favour of an out-of-court
settlement at the meet. "We cannot disclose what all transpired at
our meeting, but let me reiterate that it was a unanimous decision
of the entire working committee to file an appeal before the
Supreme Court," he emphasised.
Earlier, the Sunni Central Wakf Board had resolved to appeal
against the order of the high court. However, since the AIMPLB is
the highest decision-making body regarding religious rights of
Muslims in the country, the final decision on the issue was left